There are two types of weight loss. Intentional weight loss is when a person makes a concentrated effort to lose weight, normally because they are overweight and want to look and feel better. Unintentional or unexplained weight loss is different and can be a sign of an underlying illness. 1,2,3
Many people struggle to maintain a proper body weight ratio and intentionally go on diet or exercise programs to lose weight. Normal body weight is affected by the amount of calories consumed and the number of calories expended. In a perfect diet, there would be an equilibrium or balance. 1,2
A healthy person’s body weight is also affected by age, genetics, caloric intake, nutrient absorption, activity level as well as social factors, lifestyle and economic situation. Basic body activities such as breathing, maintaining body temperature and cell production consume an average of 50-70 percent of daily caloric intake. The rate at which a body burns calories for normal function is called the Resting Energy Expenditure. The remainder of consumption depends on the level of additional activities. 1,3,6
Unintentional weight loss occurs when the body is losing mass without a purposeful drop in calorie intake or increase of physical activity. Losing and gaining weight from time to time is normal. Every adult is in control of their calorie consumption and rate of physical activity. When a noticeable weight loss occurs without changing either of these factors, it can be a sign of a medical disorder. 1,2
The threshold of concern for unintentional weight loss is when 5 percent of body mass is lost within a six-month period. Someone who weighs 200 pounds (90 kilograms) and unintentionally loses 10 pounds (4.5 kilos) should be concerned they have a medical problem causing this and should consult their doctor. 1,2,4
What Causes Weight Loss
Weight loss causes for unintentional and unexplained weight loss can have both medical and non-medical reasons. Often, there are a combination of weight loss causes and factors that lead to an unexplained weight loss. 1,2
Some potential causes of unexplained weight loss include:
- Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
- Celiac Disease
- Cancer (in its many forms)
- Addison’s Disease
- Reaction to Medication
- Dental problems
- Congestive Heart Failure (CHF)
- Parkinson’s disease
- Substance abuse
- Overuse of laxatives
Weight Loss Symptoms
The primary unintentional and unexplained weight loss symptoms are the acute or chronic loss of 5 percent of the body’s weight. Elderly and frail people should be concerned about sudden weight loss symptoms that occur without explanation. 1,2,3
Natural Remedies and Herbs for Weight Loss
Unexplained loss natural remedies are intended to help the body process calories and turn them into body mass. Some of the effective intentional weight loss natural remedies include:
- Gymnema - Gymnema is a plant grown in India that has natural qualities in helping the body absorb less sugar. Gymnema is nicknamed the “sugar destroyer” and is also purported to stop craving for sweets.
- Euryale Seeds - Euryale seeds are also called the fox nut and have been used in Chinese cooking and medicine for centuries. Euryale is also known as “water ginseng” and has high nutritional value that works to control body weight.
- Collatrim - Collatrim is a natural weight control supplement made from bovine collagen. Collatrim supports burning of excessive body fat through a process called thermogenesis that maintains healthy levels of insulin and glucagon.
- Sea Buckthorn - Sea buckthorn is a plant that produces berries containing nutrients and vitamins as well as being a natural antioxidant for weight control. Sea buckthorn is available in raw berry for as well as supplement capsules.
- Fat Grabbers - Fat Grabbers are weight loss natural remedies that contain psyllium husks, soy lecithin, guar gum and chickweed leaf extract. Fat Grabbers is a product that is produced by Nature’s Sunshine and comes in capsules that are meant to be taken with each meal.
- Gugulipid - Gugulipid is a resin from the mukul myrrh tree that’s used to lower cholesterol and stimulate the thyroid. Gugulipid supplements are taken as a form of weight control.